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4 Signs of Career Stagnation (And How to Combat Them)

4 Signs of Career Stagnation (And How to Combat Them)

If you’ve been working in the same role, for the same employer, in the same industry for many years, you might feel stagnant.

You know the feeling: bored, uninspired, and possibly even depressed. You may even feel unmotivated to go to work each day, knowing that your day is going to be the same as the last.

If this describes you, listen up. GenTwenty has four signs you’ve reached career stagnation, and tips for overcoming them:

4 Signs of Career Stagnation (And How to Combat Them)

Career stagnation sign #1: you’re underpaid.

If you’ve been sitting at the same salary year after year for longer than you can remember, it’s no wonder you’re unmotivated at work. You probably haven’t seen much more than a cost of living raise, and you’re fed up with your hard work going unnoticed, so you’ve simply given up. Sound accurate? If so, make a change by trying one of these tips:

  • Tip: request a performance evaluation with your reporting supervisor to assess your work and request a fair merit raise.
  • Tip: take on a new project or extra duties at work and use this to negotiate a raise with your supervisor.
  • Tip: research other salaries for professionals in roles similar to yours and use these as a benchmark to advocate for your raise.

Career stagnation sign #2: you’re bored.

Disinterested in your work? It happens to the best of us. Sometimes we get so caught up in our fields that our work starts to become boring because it’s not new and exciting anymore.

Maybe you’re sick of the redundancy day in and day out, and you just need a touch of change. Try one of these tips:

  • Tip: meet with your supervisor to see if you can take on a new project that puts your creativity to work.
  • Tip: see about adding some ways to look forward to the work week, like scheduling a lunch date or setting weekly goals.
  • Tip: consider changing direction in your career; it might be time if you just don’t love the job you’re in.

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Career stagnation sign #3: you’re not learning anymore.

Maybe college and/or grad school were so fitting for you because you loved to learn. Once you’re in the workforce, there don’t seem to be as many opportunities to learn as there should be. If this is the case for you, don’t worry. There are many ways to integrate learning into your job. Consider the following:

  • Tip: see if your employer will let you attend a conference (on their dime) so that you can learn from professionals in your field.
  • Tip: consider enrolling in an online course to sharpen your skills and learn up-to-date information about your industry. your employer may even have the budget to pay for it.
  • Tip: research if your company offers extra training you can opt into or books you can read to keep learning.

Career stagnation sign #4: lack of career growth.

In some companies, there just are not many rings on the vertical ladder that you can climb to continue growing in your position. If this describes your company’s situation, you might want to look into the following:

  • Tip: sit down with your supervisor and ask questions about the company (e.g. Will new positions be created? How can I advance?).
  • Tip: meet with a recruiter to see if s/he can help you find another company to work for that offers more growth potential.
  • Tip: freshen up your LinkedIn account and your resume and get out there on that job search for something better.

These are only four of the many reasons an employee might feel stagnant at work. If you think you might fall into one (or more) of these areas, try out a few of our tips to overcome this feeling of career stagnation.

Let us know if any of these tips work for you!

About the Author

Rachael Warren (Tulipano)

Rachael is a University of Southern Maine graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Sociology. She remotely works full-time as a Senior Content Marketing Specialist for Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. In her leisure time, Rachael enjoys traveling with her husband, finding the next Netflix series to binge, and taking too many photos of her dogs Jax and Kai. Rachael is obsessed with chapstick, favors the Oxford comma, and is a proud Mainer. You'll likely find her exploring New England + beyond.